Bed bug control strategies


June 18, 2021



Now that COVID-related restrictions are being lifted, life is returning to near-normal once again. With people traveling more and college students heading back to dormitories, pest management professionals (PMPs) may see an uptick in bed bug calls. Here are some control strategies to consider:

“Treat vehicles, because they are a huge reintroduction point.”
— David Summers, Vice President, Absolute Pest Management, Buda, Texas

“Proactive treatments in high-traffic facilities, such as doctor and dentist offices, are a great opportunity for PMPs.”
— Doug Foster, President, Burt’s Termite & Pest Control, Columbus, Ind.

“Document service calls with video and photos to augment your service records.”
— Mel Rich Jr., Owner, Nu Tech Pest Control, Stamford, Conn.

“Schedule service calls so your technicians have ample time to complete their work. Don’t make technicians feel they should rush.”
— Mark Hassman, Vice President, Hassman Termite and Pest Control, Salina, Kan.

“Plan for multiple follow-up visits, and charge accordingly for them. Also, educate technicians on how to inspect for, and treat, severe infestations.”
— Toby Crowe, Branch Manager, Compass Pest Management, Cornelia, Ga.

“Use pheromone traps to monitor the effectiveness of your bed bug treatments.”
— Mark Klaus, Pest Technician, Presto-X Pest Control, Sioux Falls, S.D.

“Train all bed bug-related staff, whether they are in the office or out in the field, on all aspects of bed bugs. Continually re-evaluate your bed bug control program. Continually seek out new proven protocols and products.”
— Tami Stuparich, ACE, Owner, California American Exterminator, Boulder Creek, Calif.

“Detailed inspections are required to successfully eliminate bed bugs. If you undercharge for bed bug work, you most likely will have to cut corners, which will lead to dissatisfied customers and/or lawsuits.”
— Sholom Rosenbloom, Service Manager, Rosenbloom Pest Control, Baltimore, Md.

“Be honest and up-front about pricing. Be very clear on pre-treatment preparation needs, and give customers reasonable expectations.”
— Kyle Stiemsma, Owner, Terminator Pest Control, Randolph, Wis.

“Generalizations about the treatment process, pricing and expectations create confusion and fosters lack of trust. They put you in a position of defense rather than a position of knowledge, professionalism and success.”
— Michael Listopad, President and CEO, AAA Pest Pros, West Middlesex, Pa.

“Typically, people are slow to report bed bugs. Once their bed is infested, they tend to move to a couch in the living room, and this is how bed bugs move throughout a home. Performing a full home inspection will allow you to provide the best service.”
— Cory Goeltzenleuchter, PHE, Technical Training Director and Entomologist, McCall Service, Jacksonville, Fla.

“When treating commercial environments, ask which rooms the affected individual spends time in. You will find the problem usually is more widespread than you think.”
— David Moore, Manager of Technical Services, Dodson Pest Control, Beltsville, Md.

“Never confirm a customer’s suspected bed bug bites.”
— Nancy Boerema, Co-owner, Firefly Enlightened Pest Solutions, Neotsu, Calif.

“Explain integrated pest management (IPM) in terms that customers can understand.”
— Sandra Honess, Owner, Ladybug Pest Management, Delmar, Del.

“Use only proven, top-rated products that will actually eliminate bed bugs.”
— Josh Jones, Owner, P.M.S. Pest Management Specialists, Enterprise, Ala.

About the Author

Headshot: Diane Sofranec

Diane Sofranec is the senior editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at or 216-706-3793.

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